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Towards Proof-Of-Value: A Tale of IIoT Maturity

Illustration: © IoT For All

IIoT deployments are moving fast up the maturity chain, from pilot projects to large scale implementations that are delivering real value. Below, we take a look at some examples and figures to map out where the IIoT market is currently, and what will shape the future of the industry.

‘Think big, start small, scale fast’ has been a tagline for digital startups for many years, but the story of the maturing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) market brings new meaning and perspective to the phrase. Initially tipped to be a runaway success, with a market worth $933.62 billion by 2025, the IIoT market has been off to a slower start than initially forecast.

Overcoming the Challenges

Complex integration procedures, with multiple new sensors and data streams generating false positives and requiring recalibration, technology standards competition, a fragmented market and lengthy cost/implementation periods have been key barriers in preventing IIoT adoption.

The journey from concept to full maturity has been plotted in many different ways over the years, including Gartner’s much-quoted ‘hype cycle’. Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies in 2018 placed the IoT industry at the “peak of inflated expectations”, ready to crash down into the “trough of disillusionment” before beginning the plateau into maturity. The big question unanswered by Gartner was when the plateau would be reached.

The Beginning of Proof Of Value

Deloitte recently went on record to state that they believe IIoT is finally reaching maturity, and that their clients are now looking beyond proof-of-concept towards proof of value. Robert Schmid, chief IoT technologist at Deloitte provided an example of a plastic manufacturer client that planned to build a new production line to satisfy the demand for a specific product. By connecting a variety of processes with IIoT devices and overlaying analytics, Deloitte was able to help increase the manufacturer’s throughput by almost 10% and saved £20 million by not building a new manufacturing line.

Diverse Use Cases Emerge

Manufacturing turns out to be the tip of the iceberg in terms of active IIoT applications. Several other industries are gaining significant traction including oil and gas, mining, utilities and agriculture.

McKinsey reported that an anonymous top ten global energy company used IoT applications and devices as part of a broader program of process and technology upgrades. The program resulted in a 33% reduction in unit production costs over five years. According to the analyst firm, the enterprise saved more than $9 billion in capital costs. In addition, they deployed IoT analytic tools to assess drilling data, which resulted in increased yields from existing mature oil wells.

Utilities See the Value

Another early adopter, GE, has been developing renewable energy generation IIoT solutions. GE attaches sensors to wind turbine blades to finesse blade angles in order to maximize efficiency in changing winds. These sensors collect and feed the overall wind farm data into efficiency analysis tools. These tools help us to understand the economic loss from downtime for each turbine and how it could be used to drive maintenance schedules, enabling engineer time to be used more effectively.

An IIoT pilot to track water leaks launched recently in Kent, UK. South East Water partnered with Vodafone’s low power NB-IoT network to deploy digital water meters, sensors and acoustic loggers on underground mains water pipes in Kent. This will enable the system to ‘listen’ for escaping water within the network, determine when leaks have occurred and pinpoint a precise location. It’s worth noting that this pilot may not be entirely unprompted, as the UK utility watchdog Ofwat has demanded all water companies reduce water leakage by 15% by 2025.

Healthcare Data Analysis Delivers

Philips has also been actively piloting IoT in its healthcare devices for many years. The company has migrated from proof-of-concept towards proof of value as a result of analyzing IIoT data garnered from the firm’s ultrasound and CT scan machines. The data harvested by Philips showed that healthcare providers waste significant amounts of time recalibrating CT machines between the head and abdominal scans. This information was used to create scheduling software that ensures the number of recalibrations is minimized.

IIoT Maturity Beckons

In short, IIoT is maturing quickly, and while enterprise scale is clearly a factor in forging successful applications and value chains, these early successes should serve to anchor standards and blaze a trail for smaller enterprises and second-generation adopters alike. Another key factor will prove to be the network operators themselves, as they move from beta testing next-generation networks and into the active promotion of commercial packages based on them.

Think big, start small, scale fast. As technology continues to mature, IIoT is likely to prove very fast indeed.

Source: IoT For All

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12 Industrial IoT Companies You Should Know

As the industrial IoT market continues to expand at rapid rates, companies across the world are reaping the benefits. Utilizing this growing network of tools and systems, businesses have been able to prevent costly downtime, decrease product development costs, enhance customer engagement and satisfaction and acquire and implement intelligent data for strategic planning purposes. 

The potential benefits are seemingly endless, and the list of organizations that are embracing this industrial revolution is continuing to grow, so let’s highlight some of the main IIoT companies you need to know for a number of the most common IIoT use cases.

IIoT Use Cases

Predictive Maintenance

One of the leading use cases for IIoT is predictive maintenance. Imagine being able to predict and prevent machine failures before they occur. Think of all of the costs and downtime that could be avoided with strategic maintenance that’s implemented at key intervals to maintain uninterrupted production. Relying on advanced analytics to identify and eliminate potential issues, IIoT has been a game-changer in the equipment monitoring sector. 

  • Augury – For Augury, machine health is the mission driving their IIoT technology. Monitoring over 70,000 machines, Augury is helping companies identify and uncover blind spots in their maintenance practices and empower businesses with vital information so they can be proactive in diagnosing and repairing equipment before reaching a point of failure. Like other IIoT companies, Augury employs artificial intelligence to run complex algorithms that compare machine signals across a vast network to predict malfunctions and provide actionable alerts when issues are detected.
  • Uptake – Uptake IIoT technology has been implemented in an expansive range of industries including mining, energy, agriculture, construction and beyond. Utilizing data extracted from machine sensors and maintenance reports, Uptake’s machine learning algorithms are able to analyze and interpret complex information to identify anomalies in standard equipment operation and foresee upcoming failures. This predictive data allows companies and operators to prevent costly malfunctions before they occur.
  • C3 IoT – C3 Predictive Maintenance is helping foresee asset failures in equipment across a wide variety of industry sectors including aircraft systems, oil extraction sites, substation machinery and more. With their broad suite of IIoT tools, C3 is able to utilize failure prediction algorithms to assess potential threats in real-time. These advanced diagnostics and projections can then be visualized, allowing for the ability to track machine performance over time and improve strategic planning in the future. 

Asset Tracking and Monitoring

Another area where IIoT is making waves revolves around asset tracking and monitoring. In today’s modern age, information is key and there’s an increasing demand for digital data that allow companies to track and monitor assets in real-time. Here are some of the industry leaders who are leveraging IIoT to provide powerful information to businesses of all sizes. 

  • Roambee – Using a robust system of automated smart sensors and cloud data analytics, Roambee offers companies the ability to track shipments and inventory on the fly, with access to real-time location and condition reports across a global network. This enhanced visibility provides businesses the chance to track and monitor their assets with ease and helps create a truly digital supply chain.
  • Konux – Artificial intelligence and IIoT sensors integrate seamlessly in the KONUX system to make insights more readily available for companies. Primarily employed in the rail industry, KONUX IIoT systems pull critical information from a wide range of source points to help track and monitor assets for optimal utilization. When used to monitor railway switches, the KONUX system is able to track and analyze asset usage 24/7, and this information can then be used to streamline maintenance protocols, implement quality checks and predict product conditions into the future.
  • ShooftechBy essentially creating “smart” assets, Shooftech is capitalizing on IIoT to revolutionize the logistics sector. With their innovative wireless technology, Shooftech is able to transmit data across a vast cloud network to provide low-cost and scalable asset tracking and monitoring to businesses large and small. 

Smart Grid

Relying on a network of smart meters, substations, transmission lines and more, the Smart Grid is essentially the modern evolution of a standard electric grid. It can be used to remotely track and monitor everything from energy usage and traffic congestion to power surges and extreme weather events. It’s being utilized to restore electricity during outages, optimize energy usage, eliminate waste and better implement power generation systems for businesses and homeowners. Many companies have developed innovative tools to leverage the powerful offerings of the Smart Grid. Below are some key players in this space.

  • Landis + GyrLandis+Gyr provides energy management solutions to utility companies across the globe. With an advanced metering infrastructure and industry-leading smart grid technology, Landis+Gyr has helped more than 3,500 businesses reduce energy costs, monitor and streamline their usage, integrate renewable technology and more. 
  • AclaraAclara is helping companies implement smarts meters, sensors and controls and harness the power of the Smart Grid. Partnering with more than 1,000 gas, water and electrical utilities world-wide, Aclara provides software and hardware solutions to create a comprehensive communications network that provides companies with the information needed to streamline their systems and better utilize vital resources. 
  • Itron – “Cut public lighting energy use by 30 percent over 10 years”. This is just one of Itron’s visionary goals for the city of Paris, and it’s using the power of the Smart Grid to turn this vision into a reality. Itron is helping cities and companies optimize their water and energy use, while also positioning them to better recover in the event of a natural disaster. Employed in more than 100 countries, Itron is working to create smart cities that can track, forecast and optimize their utilities in hopes of limiting waste and providing more efficient and effective power solutions. 

Fleet Management

Fleet management in the age of IoT revolves around automated systems and processes to streamline trip planning, minimize downed vehicles, plan and execute maintenance operations and much more. As the integration of smart devices in vehicles become more of an industry standard, and as automated driving becomes more prevalent in cars and trucks, it’s no wonder that we’ve seen a rapid expansion of the IoT fleet management market. Below, we’ve highlighted a few of the big names who’ve played a part in shaping the modern fleet management landscape.

  • Fleetmatics – Owned by Verizon, Fleetmatic offers a host of smart tools to monitor and manage fleet vehicles. They provide advanced GPS tracking software that works with smart hardware to visualize vehicle locations and communicate delays in real-time. This information can then be used to optimize routes, limit fuel costs and analyze fleet performance over time.
  • Omnitracs – Omnitracs provides a comprehensive platform of fleet tracking tools that help companies manage trips, maximize cargo capacity, customize forms and travel plans and more. These tools can be leveraged to enhance fleet safety, improve efficiency, monitor drivers and assets and ensure continued compliance with regulatory standards.
  • Samsara – Samsara has a number of fleet management solutions ranging from cellular gateways and dashcams to wireless sensors and a robust mobile app. With an emphasis on safety, efficiency and quality, Samsara tools not only help track and monitor drivers and vehicles in real-time, but they can be used to reduce operating costs and expand fleet size by forecasting optimal vehicle usage.

Written by Bryan Rosenberger, Director of Operations, R and R manufacturing
Source: IoT For All